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Virginia Politics Blog
August 02, 2012 - 9:09 am


President Barack Obama’s campaign has released a TV ad in Virginia and other battleground states highlighting a new report that finds that middle- and low-income taxpayers would pay more under presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s tax plan.

The study from the Tax Policy Center, a project of the Urban Institute and Brookings Institution, found that “any revenue-neutral individual income tax change that incorporates the features Gov. Romney has proposed would provide large tax cuts to high-income households, and increase the tax burdens on middle- and/or lower-income taxpayers.”

The report was released on Wednesday, and the Obama campaign this morning announced the new 30-second spot to air here and in New Hampshire, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Colorado and Nevada.

“You work hard, stretch every penny, but chances are you pay a higher tax rate than him,” the ad’s narrator says, adding that Romney paid 14 percent in taxes in 2010 — “probably less than you.”

"Now he has a plan that will give millionaires another tax break and raises taxes on middle class families by up to $2,000 dollars a year," the narrator says. "Mitt Romney’s middle class tax increase — he pays less, you pay more." 

One of the three authors of the report, Adam Looney, worked as a senior economist with the President’s Council of Economic Advisers from 2009-10.

Allie Brandenburger, a spokeswoman for Romney’s campaign, said: “President Obama’s policies have devastated the middle class, resulting in higher unemployment, lower incomes, and greater uncertainty about the future.

"The only answer he has for his failed policies is to cite false and inaccurate studies and to raise taxes on millions of families, small businesses, and job creators. That is the last thing we should do in this economy. Mitt Romney has a plan for a stronger middle class that will lower tax rates across the board, cut the deficit, and get our economy growing again.”

It appears that both the Obama and Romney campaigns will stay on the subject for the remainder of the week, as both have rolled out events to push their message for the middle class in battleground states.

President Obama will hold a campaign event in Leesburg this evening, capping a three-state swing to talk about his vision to “rebuild the economy from the middle out, cut taxes for middle-class families and reduce the country’s deficit.”

His campaign on Wednesday announced events this week in several states built around the same theme — talking with “working families and middle class Americans about the choice in this election between two fundamentally different visions of how to grow the economy, create middle-class jobs and pay down the debt.”

The Romney campaign this morning announced 24 “Strengthening the Middle Class” events to be held today and Friday in 13 states “to highlight the need for policies that strengthen the middle class.”

Events are slated for Virginia as well as Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Florida and Colorado.

In Virginia, events will be held Thursday at the Leesburg GOP campaign office and in Mechanicsville at Colonial Body and Paint.


August 01, 2012 - 12:34 pm


Gerard Robinson, the former Virginia education secretary who left to become Florida’s commissioner of education, has resigned that post.

In a letter dated July 31 to Florida Gov. Rick Scott, Robinson highlights what he sees as the school system’s accomplishments but says “living far away from my family has proven to be the one challenge all this progress could not overcome.”

His resignation is effective Aug. 31, about a year after he began to lead Florida’s school system of 2.6 million public school students in 67 districts.

Gov. Bob McDonnell hired Robinson to serve as secretary of education in January 2010 and Robinson was an enthusiastic advocate for the governor’s education initiatives, including expanded access to public charter schools, virtual schools and college laboratory schools.


August 01, 2012 - 11:37 am


Gov. Bob McDonnell leaves for Colorado today to attend a Republican Governors Association quarterly meeting in Aspen and a campaign event on Thursday for presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

McDonnell will leave Virginia this afternoon and return on Friday morning, according to his office. 

This evening, McDonnell is scheduled to participate in an Aspen Institute program “A Conversation with Republican Governors,” with Govs. Chris Christie of New Jersey, Nikki Haley of South Carolina, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, and Scott Walker of Wisconsin. The conversation will be moderated by Walter Isaacson, the Aspen Institute president and CEO.

On Thursday afternoon, McDonnell will join Romney and other GOP governors for a campaign event near Aspen. McDonnell, who is often mentioned as a possible vice presidential pick, has stumped for Romney in several states, including South Carolina, Florida, Michigan and Iowa, since endorsing him in January.

McDonnell will return to Virginia on Friday morning, ahead of two events on Saturday, including attending the opening of a 2012 Victory Center in Leesburg – two days after President Barack Obama is scheduled to hold a campaign rally there.  


August 01, 2012 - 11:08 am


GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney will swing through Virginia next week as part of a bus tour.

Campaign officials confirmed Wednesday morning that Virginia would be part of the bus tour, but could not provide any other details.

CNN is reporting that a four-day tour will kick off Aug. 10 and plow through multiple key swing states.

In Virginia, there are tentative plans to hit the Richmond area, Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads on Saturday, Aug. 11, according to the CNN report.

The timing of the bus tour — which comes just weeks ahead of the Republican national Convention in Tampa — has led some to speculate that it could be a vice presidential rollout.


August 01, 2012 - 10:29 am


Retired Gen. Wesley Clark will visit the Roanoke area tonight to launch “Military and Defense Leaders for Obama” during a town hall meeting with veterans and military families at the Vinton War Memorial.

The new military and defense leaders effort consists of a group of “high ranking retired and former military and defense officials who will lend their voices in support of President Obama,” according to President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign.

Retired Major General James Kelley and retired Rear Admiral Jamie Barnett will join Clark, a former NATO Supreme Allied Commander who in 2004 sought the Democratic presidential nomination.  


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